This book would not have been possible without a great deal of help from many people. I would like to reiterate my thanks to everyone who took time to review this book and make invaluable suggestions. Without the assistance of the parents in the Congenital Hearts Support Group this book would not have been complete. I would especially like to acknowledge Amy Hower, Shelly and David LeCroy, Jenny and Eric Nissen, Lorraine and Robert McDaniels, and Jane Hunt for reviewing the manuscript at various stages and for all of their helpful suggestions and insight.
I would also like to acknowledge the many parents in the support group who expressed concern and genuine interest in knowing as much about their childís heart condition as possible. I have been inspired by the stories these parents have shared with me and by their strength of character as they pursue the best care possible for their children. Thanks especially to Amy and Tom Hower who made my first hospitalization with Alexander much less traumatizing than it might otherwise have been, to Patsy Perez, and Shelly and David LeCroy for their constant friendship and support during Alexanderís surgeries, to Mrs. Hower for helping my parents through Alexanderís first surgery and to Jane Hunt who has become a dear friend and was the catalyst for starting Milagros.
Special thanks to John Calhoon, M.D. for individualizing Alexanderís surgeries and for keeping Frank and me informed every step of the way; Myung Park, M.D. for accepting Alexander as a patient, sight unseen and giving him a chance to live; Da-Hae Lee, M.D. for following Alexanderís care with Dr. Park and after his departure; and Patrick Finnegan, M.D. for caring for Alexander now and in the future.
Special thanks to all of the doctors who cared for Alexander during his hospitalizations, especially Thomas Mayes, M.D.; Najmul Salman, M.D.; Bruce Lantry, M.D.; Dan Sedillo, M.D.; Humberto Hidalgo, M.D.; Deborah Rasch, M.D.; Sally Combest, M.D.; David Hardy, M.D.; Allen Baum, M.D.; Patricia Foulks, M.D. and Sue Stanko, M.D.
Special thanks to all of the nurses whose countless hours of care contributed to Alexanderís speedy recoveries, especially: Vicki Kotrla, RN for such astute insight; Karla Kintz, RN; Glory Ann Johnson, RN; Brenda Seidel, RN; Suzanna Feliciano, RN; Cheryl Lee, RN; Vicki Toner, LVN; Yvette Kelly, RN; Romeo Villarreal, RN; Laurie Akana, RN; Chris St. John, RN for additional explanations and encouragement with the book; Roe Davies, RN; Bella Hicks, RN; Patricia Munoz, RN; Terry Hanners, RN and J.R. Palmer, RN for a kindness I will always remember.
Special thanks to Sheri Stice, CCLS and Cheryl Johnson, LMSW for suggestions and encouragement with regard to this book and to the care and kind explanations provided. Special thanks to all of the other professionals who cared for Alexander including: respiratory therapists, x-ray technicians,pharmacists, and lab technicians. Thanks to Kevin Johnson at Pro-Mark for providing Alexander with oxygen after his second surgery free of charge until my HMO provided the oxygen - I was able to take Alexander home a day sooner because of your kindness.
Dr. Calhoon, thank you for writing a moving and sensitive foreword--your words added a balance to this book. Thank you, Becky Slisz, for typing, proofreading and sending the foreword to me in a timely manner. Frank Jaworski, thank you for making simple drawings of these difficult-to-understand concepts. Wynell LeCroy, thank you for proofreading the entire first edition of this book out of the goodness of your heart. Thank you, Bob Daigneault (Daddy), for providing technical assistance and for spending countless hours teaching me how to use the software needed to make this book a reality. Teresa Sorlie, thank you for sharing your sonís story; it truly enhances this book. Thank you, Dan Poynter for writing a book on self-publishing which became my bible. Jean Clabough, thank you for sharing your books and information with me.
I am humbled by all of the prayers that were said for my son during his hospitalizations. Those prayers and kind wishes meant so much to my family and me. Special thanks to my grandmother, Mavis Pennington, had a group of people across the country praying for Alexander. Thank you to all of the members of the White Mound Baptist Church and the First Baptist Church of Flat for the special prayers said for Alexander. Thanks to all of my dear friends and neighbors who prayed for us, especially, Margaret, Lizzi, Angie and Daniel Wood, the Hopson family, Pam, Freddie, Brent and Elisha Wolff, Tina Turner, June Harrington, and Mary Beth Moreau. Special thanks to Sister Janet Griffin, Father John Lubbers and all those of Our Lady of the Lake University who prayed for Alexander and my family. Thanks to all of my other friends and family members who remembered us in their prayers.
Last but not least I wish to thank my loving family. Without support from all of you I donít know how I would have made it. Carol Daigneault, Mom, thank you for standing by me through both surgeries, especially for you special care and attention to Joey; Bob Daigneault, Daddy, thank you for being a constant source of strength for me; Chrissy Metz, thank you for being a loving sister and for being there; Susan Kaser and Karen Jaworski, thank you for your tender, loving care of Joseph during Alexanderís first surgery; Jake Jaworski, Andre Kaser and Jack and Lee Jaworski, thank you for your love and support. Special thanks to Alexander and Joseph Jaworski, Rachel Kaser and Megan Trumeter for you are constant reminders of what it means to love and be loved. Finally a very special thank you to my husband, Frank Jaworski, for understanding how much this project meant to me, for caring for me and the boys during countless hours of writing and research and for loving me through it all.